182 arrested amid crackdown of underground ‘superspreader’ parties in L.A.: Sheriff

Local news

A total of 182 adults were arrested Saturday amid efforts by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to crackdown on “superspreader” events and underground parties as COVID-19 cases soar, the agency announced Monday.

The department made arrests at two commercial buildings Saturday, one in the 600 block of West 61st Street in the Vermont-Slauson neighborhood of South L.A., and the other in the 400 block of West Pico Boulevard in downtown L.A.

Two people were arrested on suspicion of promoting the events, while 180 were arrested for violating health orders, the department said, adding that they were all cited out.

Photos shared by the department show dozens of people — some with masks and others without —lined up outdoors as deputies issued citations.

The department did not provide further details about the events or arrests.

A Super-Spreader Task Force was formed by the Sheriff’s Department to enforce L.A. County’s health orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The task force shut down five events on New Year’s Eve — two in L.A., and one each in the cities of Hawthorne, Malibu and Pomona. Ninety adults were arrested and cited out, and more than 900 others received warnings.

“I have made it clear that we will seek out and take law enforcement action against all ‘Super-Spreader’ events occurring anywhere within Los Angeles County,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at the time. “The goal of these enforcement actions is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the risk to our vulnerable populations.”

The county’s coronavirus cases continue to rise out of control, with health officials warning Monday that despite pandemic fatigue, now is the time to “stay home as much as possible.”

There are now 10 county residents testing positive for COVID-19 every minute, and on average one person is dying from it every eight minutes, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said, calling the coronavirus pandemic “the worst disaster our county has experienced for decades.”

The countywide COVID-19 death toll reached 12,387 Monday, with 932,697 total cases.

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